Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.102, No.13, 5741-5751, 2018
Use of carbon steel ball bearings to determine the effect of biocides and corrosion inhibitors on microbiologically influenced corrosion under flow conditions
A consortium of sulfate-reducing bacteria consisting mostly of Desulfovibrio, Desulfomicrobium, and Desulfocurvus from oil field produced water was cultivated in a chemostat, receiving medium with 20 mM formate and 10 mM sulfate as the energy and 1 mM acetate as the carbon source. The chemostat effluent, containing 5 mM sulfide and 0.5 mM of residual acetate, was passed through 1-ml syringe columns with 60 carbon steel ball bearings (BBs) of 53.6 +/- 0.1 mg each at a flow rate of 0.8 ml/h per column. These were treated every 5 days with 1.6 ml of 300 ppm of glutaraldehyde (Glut), tetrakis(hydroxymethyl)phosphonium sulfate (THPS), benzalkonium chloride (BAC), or Glut/BAC, a mixture of Glut and BAC. Alternatively, BBs were treated with 33% (v/v) of a water-soluble (CR_W) or an oil-soluble (CR_O1 or CR_O3) corrosion inhibitor for 20 s after which the corrosion inhibitor was drained off and BBs were packed into columns. The effluent of untreated control columns had no acetate. Treatment with the chemically reactive biocides Glut and THPS, as well as with Glut/BAC, gave a transient increase of acetate indicating decreased microbial activity. This was not seen with BAC alone indicating it to be the least effective biocide. Relative to untreated BBs (100%), those treated periodically with Glut, THPS, BAC, or Glut/BAC had a general weight loss corrosion rate of 91, 81, 45, and 36% of the untreated rate of 0.104 +/- 0.004 mm/year, respectively. Single treatment with corrosion inhibitors decreased corrosion to 48, 2, and 1% of the untreated rate for CR_W, CR_O1 and CR_O3, respectively. Analysis of the distribution of corrosion rates from the weight loss of individual BBs (N = 120) indicated the presence of a more slowly and a more rapidly corroding group. BAC treatment prevented emergence of the latter, and this quaternary ammonium detergent appeared most effective in decreasing corrosion not because of its biocidal properties, but because of its corrosion inhibitory properties.
Keywords:Corrosion rate;Sulfate-reducing bacteria;Carbon steel;Flow;Microbial community;Biocide;Oil field